When I started this blog a couple of months ago, never ever would I have thought that I’d end up publishing posts about Scientology. A freaking cult. But here we are. Round number three. After doing the Oxford Capacity Analysis and taking the tour through the Scientology Public Information Center (as well as having my personality test re-evaluated), I finally found an ex-member of the cult who was willing to share his experience with me. I never wanted this to be a typical lifestyle blog anyway.
I know you guys love reading about Scientology – the stats don’t lie – and for all I know, I enjoy doing research about it. So grab a glass of water (for it’s important to stay hydrated), lean back and enjoy. And since I’m already telling you what to do: Stay critical and don’t join cults.
“I was hooked”
Pete Griffith, an Irelander, wasn’t born into the cult. He joined Scientology in 1987. “How?”, you might wonder. According to Pete, the answer is easy: “I got recruited by doing the personality test and signing up, essentially to improve myself.” Back at that stage, however, Scientology was not a religion, as Pete explains: “That secret was revealed later once I was well and truly hooked.” Today he has no affiliation to Scientology whatsover. In fact, Pete says he’s “happy to expose the truth about them in anyway I can.” But it took him years to cut all ties to the church.
After Pete got recruited in 1987, he received his training. He proceeded to run through a couple of positions within the church. At one point he ended up being Public Executive Secretary, which is the person in charge of all the different attempts to get people in for “free” introductory services (really, they come at a price) and from there on to further paid services, as Pete explains. When I heard that he also analyzed people’s personality test results, I sent him my graph.
“Your graph is slightly what is known as a High Left/Low Right, meaning that you display somewhat suppressive tendencies in that you belittle others and have a secret fear of people”, Pete says. His analysis somewhat corresponds with what the two Scientologists told me. “I would be selling you a course to improve your relationships with people, and possibly also the Communication Course.” The communication course is exactly which was recommended to me at the Public Information Center.
“The only purpose of the tests is to hook new victims.”
When I ask Pete why the church even runs these tests in the first place, he says: “The only purpose of the tests is to hook new victims.”
“It’s built on lies”
Over the years, Pete started detecting discrepancies between claims and actuality. “Scientology is built on lies”, he says. “It starts at the very beginning with Hubbard saying that Dianetics is not hypnotism, when it is. It goes on from there with the most glaring being the fact that nothing is delivered as promised.” If a person reaches the state of Grade One, for instance, they are supposed to have “the ability to recognise the source of problems and make them vanish”. Pete: “The truth is that they have more problems than ever before.”
In 1994, 14 years into the cult, Pete finally brought up the courage to quit. “Leaving was relatively easy in my case”, he says. “I had ceased to be useful to them.”
I also ask Pete about the weirdest experience he had during his time at Scientology: “The most shocking thing for me is the amount of utter crap members will put up with because they live in the hope of someday attaining superpowers without a single shred of evidence that such powers exist.”
Thus, Pete’s advice is: “Stay away from Scientology unless you feel you have lots of time and money to spare for no good reason.” But then again, who has?
And here are my other Scientology posts:
- My friend and I did the Scientology Personality Test
- Scientology re-evaluated my personality: It’s still a mess
By the way, I can’t promise you that this is my last post about the cult. But as long as I don’t publish features like “I did a three month Scientology training” or “Why Scientology isn’t that bad after all”, you guys can chill. They haven’t gotten in my head. Yet.